The title of Laurie Danial's newest exhibit, Control Release Control, is an idea that the artist says stays with her through almost any work that she does. "As I work through the painting," she says, "this issue around trying to control where the painting's going, trying to get it to work compositionally, trying to get it to be somewhat of an arresting image. So, there's all these control issues. There's definitely certain points in the process where I let go, and that just seems to be the thing to make it all come together."
What makes her paintings and prints so fascinating is how those ideas come to the fore. Sharp geometric shapes sit next to smears of color. Points of perspective are blurred into amorphous masses. And especially in her prints, the patterns of faces or shapes are etched over or interrupted with thin lines connecting the disparate pieces like telephone lines. It stirs up feelings unsettling, nostalgic, and humorous in varying degrees, a sensation reminiscent of the work of Japanese artists like Takashi Murakami.
The control issue also came through in the creation of these works. Danial had to struggle with wanting to make completely new prints, but due to the cost of materials (she uses copper plates for printing), had to settle on finishing projects she had already begun but abandoned. But the release followed as she started "working back into these plates and these images. Something new comes to it, and that creates a whole way forward. And again, that's something that you don't always trust but that comes from the process of working."
Laurie Danial's new exhibition, Control Release Control, will be shown at the Froelick Gallery, 714 NW Davis Street, from October 31 through December 27. There will be a First Thursday reception on November 3 and an exhibit tour and artist discussion with Ms. Danial on Saturday November 12 at 11 a.m.
-Robert Ham, 11/2/2011